By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 07, 2017 at 4:01 PM

As "Wisconsin Foodie" prepares to enter its 10th year, creator Arthur Ircink is inviting fans to experience a smörgåsbord of flavors from the chefs, farmers and producers who have been featured on the Emmy-winning television show.

Winter Smörgåsbord, an experiential dining event showcasing a variety of sampling, master classes and chef collaborations, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino event center.


More than 35 artisan makers who’ve been featured on "Wisconsin Foodie" will travel to Milwaukee for this event. They’ll be manning tables and offering up samples of their products. So guests will have the opportunity to taste and learn from some of the state’s finest, including Deb Carey of New Glarus Brewing, Andy Hatch from Uplands Cheese Company and Sarah Marx Feldner of Treat Bake Shop.

A sampling of other makers includes B & E’s Trees, Bittercube Bitters, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Death’s Door spirits, Mr. Dye’s Pies, Roots Chocolates, Bos Meadery, Sassy Cow Creamery, The Trout House at Rushing Waters Fisheries and Wollersheim Winery and Distillery.

Master classes

Meanwhile, a series of seminars will teach attendees about a variety of products and pairings. Scheduled classes include:

  • 11:30 a.m.: Wine and Becky’s Blissful Bakery caramel pairings with Jessica Bell of HaloVino
  • 12:30 p.m.: Why does cheddar taste different in Wisconsin? With Jeanne Carpenter of Wisconsin Cheese Originals
  • 1:30 p.m.: An education in bitters with Ira Koplowitz of Bittercube Bitters
  • 2:15 p.m.: New frontiers in cooking and curing meats with Johnny Hunter of Underground Meats


VIP Restaurant ticket-holders will also be granted access to a special restaurant experience area with offerings from featured "Wisconsin Foodie" chefs who’ve been paired with area farmers and food producers for a unique collaborative experience.

Participating restaurants include Milwaukee’s Bacchus, Bavette La Boucherie, Braise Restaurant, Goodkind, Iron Grate BBQ Co., Karl Ratzsch, Lake Park Bistro, Madison’s Heritage Tavern, and Door County’s Wild Tomato and Bier Zot.

VIP chef experience

During an extra-special part of the program, some of Wisconsin’s most award-winning chefs will design and serve a menu of dishes highlighting local producers. Two sessions are available (tickets must be purchased for a specific time), and each will feature three chefs.

  • Noon: Luke Zahm from the Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, Patrick DePula from Salvatore's Tomato Pies in Madison, and James Beard Award nominee Justin Carlisle from Ardent and Red Light Ramen in Milwaukee.
  • 3 p.m.: James Beard Award winners including Tory Miller of L'Etoile, Graze, Sujeo and Estrellòn Restaurants in Madison; Adam Siegel of the Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee; and Justin Aprahamian of Sanford in Milwaukee.


Tickets for the event are available in three levels: general admission, VIP restaurant experience and VIP chef experience.

  • General admission tickets ($65) include: food and beverage samples from more than 35 vendors, a tasting glass, free entry to master classes, a $10 Potawatomi Fire Keepers Reward Play gift certificate, free parking and coat check.
  • VIP restaurant experience tickets ($95) include: all general admission perks, access to the Wisconsin Foodie VIP Restaurant area between noon and 3 p.m.
  • VIP chef experience tickets ($195) include: all general admission perks, access to the Wisconsin Foodie VIP Restaurant area between noon and 3 p.m. and tickets to experience dishes from some of Wisconsin’s best chefs. Featured chef events take place at noon or 3 p.m. A percent of proceeds will be donated to the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation to support the ProStart culinary arts program.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.